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House of the Dragon: How the Blackfyre Targaryens Connect to the Dance of the Dragons

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House of the Dragon

The much-anticipated Game of Thrones prequel series, House of the Dragon, is set to premiere on August 21st, focusing on the first Targaryen Civil War known as the Dance of the Dragons. The ending of Game of Thrones was one of the most controversial final seasons in television history, largely due to rushed storytelling, forgotten character arches, and poorly written dialogue that was unfitting for a show that seasons ago was praised for its outstanding writing. While many fans of Game of Thrones are skeptical about a prequel series, they should not fret, as unlike Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin has finished the book that House of the Dragon is based on, Fire and Blood.

For fans of the books, it is a relief to hear Martin’s recent praise for the prequel series, as well as it being considered a more than faithful adaption of the source material. Much to the dismay of the fans of the book series, many intriguing storylines had been left out of Game of Thrones, most notably the tale of the Blackfyre Targaryens. House of the Dragon

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focuses on the first Civil War, but the Blackfyre Targaryens would be responsible for the next five.

The turmoil caused by Targaryen infighting would be a significant factor in the fall of their dynasty, but what’s fascinating is that the roots of the turmoil that would lead to the end of their reign was the Dance of the Dragons in the upcoming series. Without the Dance of the Dragons, the subsequent Civil Wars and loss of magical power for House Targaryen wouldn’t have occurred. Their Dynasty may have reigned for another hundred years instead of being destroyed by Robert’s Rebellion.

The Blackfyre Targaryen line began during the reign of Aegon IV Targaryen, a King that was also known as “Aegon the Unworthy.” Aegon was a womanizer and a creature of pleasure. Decadence, gluttony, lust, corruption, and oppression were the constants of his rule. Aegon’s small council was filled with loyalists and those who heaped praise, providing no opposition to his actions as King. In typical Targaryen fashion, Aegon married his sister, Naerys Targaryen, who would give birth to Aegon’s trueborn heir, Daeron II Targaryen. Daeron was one of the many children of Aegon, who had more bastards than trueborn children, as the vicious King took whatever woman he wanted at any time. Naerys was the only woman Aegon did not enjoy being with, and subsequently, he loathed his heir, Daeron, favoring his bastards over him. Of all Aegon’s bastards, it was Daemon Waters who the King most celebrated.

Related: House of the Dragon: What Fans Hope to See in the Prequel

Daemon was a great warrior, unlike Daeron, and when Aegon knighted Daemon, he gifted his bastard with the sword known as “Blackfyre,” the same sword Aegon the Conquerer wielded during his conquest of Westeros. After being gifted the sword, Daemon took the name Blackfyre instead of Waters, which was his bastard name. After Naerys died during childbirth, Aegon began casting doubt on Daeron’s legitimacy as an heir, suggesting he was a bastard who was the son of his brother, Aemon. The rumors birthed by Aegon, coupled with Daemon’s traditional Targaryen look (blonde hair and purple eyes) and his being gifted the sword of the first ruler of the Targaryen dynasty, made many begin to support Daemon’s claim to the throne over Daeron. On his deathbed, Aegon had grown so morbidly obese that he couldn’t move, defecating where he sat. Before he passed, Aegon legitimized all his bastard children, placing them in the line of succession and giving them a claim to the throne.

When Daeron became King, he attempted to reform the crown, undoing his father’s corruption and maintaining a peaceful relationship with Daemon. Daeron helped make Dorne a part of the Seven Kingdoms by marrying Myriah Martell. But by favoring the Dornish and having his heir, Baelor I Targaryen, resemble the classic Dornishman over a Targaryen, many Lords began to dislike Daeron’s rule and favored Daemon over him. After years of being pushed to claim the Iron Throne by his councilors, specifically Aegor “Bittersteel,” a fellow bastard fathered by Aegon IV, Daemon finally declared his intent to usurp the throne and reversed the colors of the Targaryen flag to make the black dragon on a red banner the sigil of House Blackfyre.

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